In Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg made a bet that he could travel around the world in eighty days.
That was in 1872. You are Phileas Fogg's descendent in the 21st century. Since travelling around the world in eighty days is not a problem with modern transportation, you and your friends have a different challenge.
You and your group have to travel through all of the continents of the world, one after the other. You will start your journey from your current location and end in the same place. At each destination, you have to gather a map and some facts about the place. The winning group is the one who has travelled the shortest distance to complete the world trip.
Task and Process
Here are the things you need to do:
You start your virtual journey from your current location. Record the longitude and latitude of your starting point. You need this so that you can calculate the distance to your next "destination".
There are seven continents in the world. Your "journey" will take you to every one of them (required). You can "travel" to any one location in within each of the continent. You do not need to visit more than one location on the continent. That location may be a city or whatever you choose. You have your own private jet with the ability to land anywhere, so you are not dependent on airports.
For each place you "visit", you merely need to record the coordinates, obtain maps and information about the place, and calculate the distance you took to travel there from your previous location.
Your current location is merely your starting and ending point. You will have to choose another location in that continent to gather maps and information.
The distance you travel is the direct distance between two locations. You don't have to follow roads or shipping routes or air routes in computing the distance.
In calculating your total distance travelled, you must include the distance between your present location and your first destination, as well as the distance you travelled from your last destination back to your home country.
At the end of your "trip", you will have to make a presentation to the class showing the details of your trip: the places you visited, the distance travelled, information about each place, maps, and why you chose that particular route. Your presentation may take any form you wish: a PowerPoint slide presentation, a website that you can show off, charts, models, etc. The presentation should not be longer than 15 minutes.
Plan your route wisely, because if you zig zag around the world, going back and forth from locations, you will end up travelling a greater distance.
You do not need to read Jules Verne's story to do this activity. You will, however, find the following links useful:
Don't know what are the continents, and what countries are on each continent? Try the list at Continents in the World.
To find maps and information about each country in the world, try the CIA World Factbook.
You can find many other maps and sources of information from the Maps and Atlases page.
To calculate the distance between two points on the earth, given their longitude and latitude, you may use the Longitude and Latitude Distance Calculator
For the distance, you may need to either select the "kilometre" option or the "mile" option (depending on which unit your country uses).
You will be assessed on the following:
The information you provide about each place. You need not be comprehensive, but you should include some salient facts about each place, as well as provide the listeners with a map of the city/country.
The rationale for your route around the world. (Why did you choose this particular route over a different route?)
Your presentation: coherence, clarity and the use of aids to help you communicate.
Your group cohesiveness. Everyone should have a part to play in this activity.
Congratulations! You have not only completed the 21st century version of Phileas Fogg's journey, but you now have a good idea of the major continents in the world, one of the countries/cities located on each continent, an idea of the distances involved in travelling around the world, and the ability to research and collate information through the Internet.
You are now a qualified Virtual World Traveller!